Kwang-Chul Kwon and Henry Daniell*
Department of Biochemistry, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Biopharmaceuticals made using current production systems are prohibitively expensive and are not affordable for a large majority of the global population. The cost of protein drugs ($140 billion in 2013) exceeds GDP of >75% of countries around the globe (Walsh, 2014), making them unaffordable in these countries. The one-third of the global population that earns ＜$2 per day cannot afford any protein drugs. This is because of their production in prohibitively expensive fermenters, purification, cold storage/transportation, short shelf life and sterile delivery methods. Simpler methods of delivery such as oral dosing could obviate much of the expense: however, oral delivery of protein drugs has been elusive for decades because of their degradation in the digestive system, inability to cross the gut epithelium and delivery to target cells/tissues.
Keywords: industrial production, plant-made biopharmaceuticals, chloroplast, edible plants, molecular pharming